Sergeant Cederic Minns start on the squadron was less than smooth, his original skipper Sergeant Norman Robinson was killed while flying a second pilot trip with Canadian Flight Lieutenant Turner RCAF on May 4th 1943. Cederic’s two former friends and crews mates were Sergeant Denzey & Lancaster who were both killed when struck by Stirling BF480 which crashed out of control on the morning of May 14th. Cederic was born and lived at Caister St Edmund 3 miles south of Norwich, he arrived on the squadron via No,1657 Conversion Unit w.e.f 16th April 1943. He flew 8 operations as an wireless operator / air gunner with Australian James Smith RAAF. The circumstances surrounding the loss of BF572 HA-K is unclear. Rear gunner Sergeant Farr parachuted from Stirling BF572 HA-K spending the remaining war years a PoW, his post war report records the following :”
We were attacked and set on fire. To the best of my knowledge Sgt Smith was either severely injured or killed in the first attack, after which the machine caught fire and went into a steep dive.”
Hptm Wittgenstein 6./NJG5 (detached 1./NJG1) claimed a Short Stirling at 02.19 hours over the North Sea 50 miles NW of Hoak Van Holland. At 02.35hrs a RAF tracking station on the East Coast transmitted a fix on BF572, the position was recorded at 52 10N – 03 20E. Could Hptm Wittgenstein be the cause of the crews demise, if so this would mean that Sergeant Farr parachuted into the North Sea, not an ideal prospect even in June. Another possibility is that the incident recorded by Sgt Farr did not result in the Stirling crashing, Farr took to his parachute only for the Stirling to continue on until attacked and shot down by Hptm Wittgenstein 50 miles out to sea .Cederic’s body and that of two over crew members were never found, his name is recorded on the panels of the Runnymede Memorial panel 159.